Live updates

RSPCA 'no longer involved' at County Durham animal shelter

The RPSCA is no longer involved in the care of animals at a shelter in County Durham.

Paula Campbell, who ran the Rainbow Ark sanctuary in Willington, was ejected following a lengthy mortgage dispute.

A guinea pig was put down yesterday by a vet.

The RSPCA say a cat and two ponies were also removed on vet's advice and are being cared for by the charity.

The RSPCA has had officers at this location since Wednesday evening assisting with the care, feeding, watering and cleaning out of the animals there to ensure their welfare but we have now left the property.We became involved after receiving a call from the bailiffs company late that day, asking for our help, and knew nothing about this situation at all before then.

We were not asked for any assistance with these animals prior to the eviction taking place. Had we known about this situation it might have been possible for us to help before it came to this.

– Statement from RSPCA.

The RSPCA removed other animals, included a terrapin, who are reliant on electricity for their welfare, but stressed the animals left at the scene are not the responsibility of the charity.

We are not responsible for these or any of the animals at the scene - they are the responsibility of the bailiffs company currently, and are owned by Ms Campbell.

Vets attended to check over all of the animals on Thursday to ensure that any requiring treatment received it, and we are satisfied with the conditions we have left those animals at the scene in.

– Statement from RSPCA.

Advertisement

Rainbow Ark Sanctuary animal put down

The RSPCA has put down an animal from a sanctuary that has closed after its owner was evicted from the farm.

Paula Campbell, who ran The Rainbow Ark Sanctuary in Willington, was ejected following a lengthy mortgage dispute.

The RSPCA has three officers at this location again today (Friday 31 January) to continue assisting with the care, feeding, watering and cleaning out of the animals there and to ensure their welfare.

A guinea pig was put to sleep by a vet yesterday (January 30).

A cat has also been taken away and RSPCA officers are removing two ponies today (January 31) on vet advice for further investigative work and possible treatment.

The care of these three animals is now in the hands of the RSPCA.

  1. Calendar

York woman also had dead cat in freezer

As well as the snakes, they found a dead cat in a fridge-freezer.

Wallace told the RSPCA she had "around 140 snakes" including boas, pythons and corn snakes.

At York Magistrates Court she pleaded guilty to two cruelty charges after she caused unnecessary suffering to her border collie Alf by failing to provide him with adequate veterinary care when he fell ill.

She also admitted seven offences of failing to ensure the welfare of snakes and reptiles. A further 10 animal cruelty charges initially brought by the RSPCA were dropped and dismissed by magistrates.

  1. Calendar

Woman with 140 snakes pleads guilty to animal cruelty

The RSPCA found 140 snakes in Pauline Wallace's house Credit: ITV Yorkshire

A woman who kept 140 snakes in her home and had another 20 dead in a freezer has pleaded guilty to a string of animal cruelty and welfare charges.

Pauline Wallace, 64, from Osbaldwick Lane, York, stored her collection of reptiles in old sweet tubs, plastic bins and vivariums stacked floor to ceiling in her semi-detached house.

RSPCA inspectors discovered the colony when they went to check up after a tip-off.

Swan shot with crossbow to be released back into the wild

The swan was spotted by a member of the public on the River Lyne, in Northumberland, last week. Credit: RSPCA

A swan that was shot in the neck with a crossbow is to be released back into the wild.

The bird was spotted by a member of the public on the River Lyne, in Northumberland, last week. It underwent an operation and has been nursed back to health by the RSPCA.

Advertisement

Video: Animal cruelty rises again in the North East

The latest figures from the RSPCA show there has been another rise in the number of animal cruelty cases in the North East over the last year. One of the worst cases in the country involved three Shih Tzu dogs in Northumberland.

The owner kept them in appalling conditions and had allowed their hair to grow so long their fur was matted together, preventing them from walking properly. Caution: You may find some of the pictures in this video upsetting.

Five arrested under suspicion of animal cruelty

Durham Police have arrested five men in Darlington on suspicion of animal cruelty offences.

The arrests came after a joint operation between the police and the RSPCA, where police raided addresses in Darlington.

The men, four aged 18 and one aged 19, are suspected of animal cruelty and have been arrested for offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

They are from the Firthmoor area of the town.

“The force is committed to protecting its rural communities and tackling rural crime. Animal welfare is an issue at the heart of those communities and we hope that this morning’s raids reassure people that activities involving animal cruelty will not be tolerated.”

– Deputy Chief Constable Michael Banks

The raids took place following reports from the public of dogs being used to hunt and kill wildlife and domestic pets in the Darlington area.

Eight dogs – six lurchers and two Labradors - have been seized, as well as mobile phones, computers and hunting equipment.

"Where we have evidence that offences have taken place we will take action to bring the individuals involved before a court. I hope this sends a message to anyone involved in this kind of deliberate, abhorrent cruelty – we are actively seeking you and the next knock on the door could be us.”

– Chief Inspector Mark Gent, RSPCA
Load more updates